I am so excited to share with you the beverage Zach and I prepared at home yesterday, from scratch - bubble tea!! After another valiant effort at the driving range, followed by some halcyon browsing at Barnes and Noble, we were both in the mood for one of our favorite weekend treats, bubble tea. Much like gourmet coffees and other lovely cafe beverages, however, bubble tea isn't exactly the most economical of hobbies, costing nearly $5 per serving at several nearby cafes, and thus, this time, we decided to learn how to make bubble tea at home!
We prepared a very basic milk tea, simply using black tea, 1% milk, and honey,
and soon we were ready to begin the task of introducing the bubbles to our bubble tea! After boiling, soaking,
and rinsing the tapioca pearls,
adding the bubbles to our glasses,
and pouring the chilled tea over our tapioca bubbles, we were quite pleasantly surprised by the uncomplicated nature of the bubble tea creation process! We were initially a bit concerned that our bubble tea wouldn't manifest quite as well as the purchased versions, given that our tapioca pearls were small, unlike the big, black tapioca pearls we've encountered in shops, but actually, we found that our dainty tapioca melded perfectly with the final beverage, adding a jaunty flutter of tiny bubbles to every sip!
Soon we were savoring our refreshing bubble teas, giggling (well, at least I did :-) every time the tapioca bubbles levitated through the straw... :-)
(Makes approximately 4 servings...)
4 cups water
4 black tea bags
6 T Honey or agave nectar
1/2 cup small tapioca pearls
4 cups 1% milk or light vanilla soymilk (for the vegan version!)
~ Bring your 4 cups of water to a boil, then remove the water from the heat and allow the tea bags to steep until your tea has reached the desired strength. Remove the tea bags, stir the honey or agave nectar into the tea until dissolved, add more to taste if desired, and then transfer the tea to the fridge to chill.
~ In a saucepan, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Stir the tapioca pearls into the boiling water, making sure they don't stick to the bottom of the pan. Let the tapioca boil happily for 25 minutes.
~ After the 25 minutes have elapsed, cover the pot, turn off the heat, and let the tapioca soak for another 25 minutes.
~ Drain the tapioca, which will now vaguely resemble some sort of packing material, in a fine mesh sieve, and rinse well with warm water.
~ In a large pitcher, stir together the chilled tea and the 4 cups milk or soymilk.
~ With a large spoon, gently place the tapioca pearls into the bottoms of 4 tall glasses.
~ Pour the chilled milk and tea mixture over the tapioca pearls...
~ Enjoy festively with a straw!
(Zach enjoying some high tech bubble tea... :-)